Batting 500

I thought he would never be captured or killed – I was wrong.  Oh, well, I was right about those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The reasons for my relative sang froid regarding this event are illustrated by this quote from the journalistic blusterer, Ross Douthat:

They can strike us, they can wound us, they can kill us. They can goad us into tactical errors and strategic blunders. But they are not, and never will be, an existential threat.

This was not clear immediately after 9/11.

As with his fellow windbag, Thomas Friedman, as well as many, many, politicians and talking-head wannabee pundits, he takes far too long to learn his lessons.  The sense of those two sentences that are in bold was very evident to me in 2001, and to John Kerry in 2004, and to the writer of an op-ed piece that I recall from the NYTimes shortly after 9/11 (citations, please, if anyone can find it![Here it is.]) that stated that Osama bin Laden’s was a form of ‘politics’ doomed for the dustbin.  Yes, there were plenty of reasonable people who understood what was what, but the hysteria of people like Ross and his fellow scribblers, not to mention GWB, made it hard to understand what they were saying.

7 Responses to Batting 500

  1. Man of Roma says:

    Wake up man! 😉

    Even cynical Romans are feasting. 10 years of resilience & stubbornness have given their liberating, magical fruit.

    Everyone may be even highly critical of one’s country no-matter-what (who hasn’t got flaws) but this time man I feel so happy. And I know the souls of Ronald Reagan and of course of eternal (not on.y in my mind) Jimmy Stuart and John Wayne, are feasting too.

    These last two figures were, as I guess you know from our convs, mythical to us – my basically right-wing Tuscan friend and myself.

    When growing up and realising who Jimmy and John really were (also), I personally loved them even more (my friend ça va sans dire).

    We both respect faith, big ideals, honesty no matter the faction.

    Today Europeans so darn proud of America.

    The killer, the horrible poisoner of world’s folks souls is finally dead.

    My God bless America. May God bless the wonderful American people.

  2. Man of Roma says:

    […] After getting home this afternoon I was captured by our NYC Jewish engineer’s lapidary post ‘Batting 500’. […]

  3. Man of Roma says:

    Let me ramble with the usual sentence-in-the sentence thing of when I am very tired …

    THIS is a sign imo that the times are perhaps again a-changing: I mean the times of fanaticism, of the middle ages (which is a great age: I mean here the derogative notion of MA), of the rancour, of defamation, of killing and of throwing stones, of the wars of ideology, of the eternal fascists that “yell as rabid curs preventing others from speaking” (Giorgio Bocca) to please their master whoever and wherever he is.

    I am an idealist here ok. It may also depend on my personal view of things as of now, me getting back to religion in some way – your fault a tiny bit too? I know I am within my riff again, but I think why not Lichanos, we discussed that – digression: more a goddess or Madonna type of thing (I much preferring a woman to be God, than a Man, it may be en-rooted in an Italian hard to say: I find it so much more beautiful and consoling …).

    I can’t continue. I wrote 3 pages but they are unreadable. I’ll spare you this. If I can edit it and make it understandable …


  4. troutsky says:

    It is fascinating how these Events become so instantly conclusive, historical and incorporating. We (as a species) desire the resolution of these aporias, floating signifiers, and tension filled indeterminacies.

    Just as 9/11 “changed everything”, the where-were-you-when-Osama-was-killed moment becomes a cultural artifact. I am not just being my usual curmudgeonly contrarian self here, I’m glad the bastard is dead, just truly amazed at the significance it suddenly has.

  5. Philippe says:

    The legality of the killing of Bin Laden is, to put it most charitably, dubious. Bin Laden was killed, not having had a fair trial in a court of law.

    Under American law isn’t someone assumed innocent until proven guilty after a fair trial in a court of law?

    • Lichanos says:

      Oh man, so dicey this…

      Churchill has proposed on November 9, 1943 that a list of “50, or at the outside 100…world outlaws” should be “shot to death within six hours and without reference to higher authority.”

      The Trial: A History, from Socrates to O.J. Simpson by Sadakat Kadri p. 219

      Churchill…wanted the Nazi leaders, when they were finally captured, to be taken out and shot. Roosevelt initially agreed. It was Stalin who had found that trials could be exceedingly satisfactory in both procedure and outcome, who compelled first Roosevelt, and then Churchill to take part in setting up the Nuremberg tribunal.

      Ashes and Sparks: Essays on Law and Justice by Stephen Sedley p.42

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